“Mom?” Cali asked for the hundredth time. “Is it spring?”
We had told Cali that we would stay in Oregon until spring. So she knew, as the days grew warmer, that it was time to say goodbye to the Louks, and Meadowbrook, and the Molalla River, the temperate rainforests and waterfalls of Western Oregon, and the sparkling face of Mount Hood on the horizon.
The last Sunday evening before we left, we took a whirlwind trip to the Oregon Coast, so Danica could say goodbye to one of favorite her favorite places in the world. (Call me crazy, but sometimes I have to give visual and kinesthetic expression to unseen and spiritual choices. So I drew an altar in the sand at the edge of the waves that day. And on it, I drew not only the ocean and mountains, but also my “FOO”, (as I fondly call my Family Of Origin) because I had said goodbye to them earlier that same day. And I watched the waves wash that picture off the surface of the sand with a few salty sweeps.)
Of course it is hard to say goodbye. But goodbyes for us are not merely goodbyes. Because we are also looking ahead, with eager expectation, to what God has for us.
So, also in the same week before we left Oregon, we took a whirlwind trip to the PDX (Portland airport), and parked our van in a gravel spot beside the runways. Our little Cali tends to worry about everything unknown. Her latest concern about going to Brazil was the airplanes. So we thought that sitting and watching the big planes take off and land, while talking about the people getting on and off, and playing a “where do you think they are going?” game, would be good for her. Turns out, it was good for all of us. Because looking ahead in expectation is a faith-thing. (Thank you, Matt, Rachel, and little John, for joining us on that field trip! We miss you three.)
God does not merely call us away FROM something; He also calls us TO something.
Well after that, we packed up the van and started out towards Wisconsin. By way of the Southern Route. You know, down through California, all the way down to the San Diego area, and then East to Snowflake, AZ…and actually it was sort of the Southern circular route, because we went to Leupp, and back to Pheonix, and back again to Window Rock (anyone who knows Arizona very well is snickering right now), then to Albequerque, NM, Wichita, KS, and finally Eau Claire, WI. We did not have any appointments with churches during this time, but we had lots of individuals and families to connect with. Through our travels, we saw God raise our promised support level another good chunk.
We are at 60% recommended support, now.
Our route looked something like this. (Thank you, God, for GPS and Google Maps!)
And back in Wisconsin, we are still looking ahead to Brazil. Sometimes we ask Jevon to read to us all in Brazilian Portuguese. I think it is helping Cali and Karina understand that these words have meaning, just like English words have meaning! (Daddy is not just “talking funny”!!!!!) It is also warming up our ears a little bit, to a different sound system.
Thank you, Laree, for the Brazilian children’s books!!!!
Our target date is still August but it is going to take some serious work on our part and God’s mighty intervention to make that happen. We are at peace if it takes a little longer, just as long as it is not because we didn’t do our part. And why not keep asking God to help us reach that goal? Please pray with us, that God will speed us on our way. We don’t want to dilly-dally!
Jevon is gone today, on his way down to the Brazilian consulate in Chicago to get his Brazilian passport renewed. Please pray that this will go smoothly without a glitch!
Looking forward to the next post – when we can tell you what God does next!
We love you all. Thank you to each and every one of you who have welcomed us along the way in our travels. What a privilege to know you and to be co-workers with you in the Father’s work!
from the Rich family,
Jevon, Danica, Cali, and Karina